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Route to Market & Supply Chain Blog

Update your Supply Chain or risk ending up in Pennsylvania!

Posted by Dave Jordan on Mon, Sep 20, 2010

Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with Pennsylvania. I found it to be a great place with the most helpful tourist office I have ever visited. Bear with me and I will get back to this later and also introduce Polly.

We have always done it this way” is one of the most frequent retorts when people are confronted with change. If you fail to keep up with change in any aspect of life you don’t even stand still any more, you go backwards! The same is certainly true in modern supply chains. Not too long ago many companies did not even have supply chains and muddled through with a variety of ill defined roles reporting into all sorts of unrelated functions.

The rate of change necessary to keep your supply chain up to date is increasing. So, you implemented a new ERP in 2005? I would bet many companies are still working with the same structure, processes, KPI’s etc and this inevitably delivers inefficiency and waste. Staff may well be scared of change but which is worse; clear change for the better or mind-numbing frustration at work?

Supply chain leaders need to routinely stand back and take a fresh look at how they are operating in support of their business objectives.

  1. Are processes documented and in line with the ERP design AND business needs?
  2. Do your people have the skills and competencies to support the business? Do not expect them to tell you! (Who is in your supply chain team?)
  3. Is S&OP really working as it should or has the company slipped backwards to the multiple numbers game in target setting?
  4. Are you measuring the right KPI’s allowing for fair and accurate individual and departmental appraisal? Are they still relevant? Do you need to raise the bar a little?
  5. Does your 3PLP still provide the best service possible or have they also slipped back?
  6. Is your Route to Market network appropriate?

The full list is lengthy but you can be sure it encompasses all aspects of the supply chain. Failing to address the need for change is like watching a James Bond DVD on a black and white TV! You are not getting the full benefit of the resources available.

Aha! Polly. Polly guided us on our tour around USA recently and did remarkably well. We did get a little confused over miles and kilometers but all in all Polly provided great customer service. However, I was aiming for West Point when I saw the sign “Welcome to Pennsylvania”. I was not supposed to be in Pennsylvania and not least because the car hire company was not insured there. On challenging the car hire firm later it became clear that they had not updated the GPS software for a few years and Polly took us down a road that was not in her memory - “We have always done it this way”.

Tags: Logistics Service Provider, Dave Jordan, Humour, ERP/SAP, Traditional Trade, S&OP, Forecasting & Demand Planning

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